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  • Writer's pictureUrvashi Singh

Kathiwadas :On Top of Their Game

Design and philanthropy stalwarts for over thirty years and counting, the Kathiwadas embellish yet another jewel to their ever-growing legacy of creative innovation. Just when their unparalleled contributions to the fields of fashion, cricket and philanthropy leave all of us wonder-struck and gasping for breath, the House of Kathiwada pulls the next surprise that they had thus far hidden in its sleeve. This time around, it’s Circle 1434, a first-of-its-kind members community that renders all its contemporary lifestyle hotspots into the backdrop.

Jostling with the endless demands of an urban lifestyle, modern-day Indians wistfully long to unwind in a tranquil hideout that is too elusive to fathom. Oftentimes, productivity and exhaustion towards the mundane enter into a dead knot and imaginative freedom jostles in the quicksand of our situational limitations. A getaway to the hills is as distant for the overworked office goer as is the beach for a creative buff dwelling in densely urban weeds. The Kathiwadas make a breath-taking entry at the very centre of this paradox by formulating Circle 1434- an eclectic members community that is cocooned, not in exotic mountains, nor in pristine backwaters, but in the very heart of Maximum City! The family’s city bungalow in Worli has been breathed in with classic Kathiwada panache and refashioned as Kathiwada City House, the Neo-contemporary art deco mansion and the heart of Circle 1434.

At the outset, one might ask what is particularly novel about an urban lifestyle club in times when Quorum, WeWork and Anti-Social form lead an entire trend of city-based congregations. To put it succinctly, Circle 1434 makes its departure from the very word Club and perches itself upon the Kathiwada’s signature curation of people, ideas and events. In sharp contrast to Mumbai’s pulsating club climate, this meditative sanctuary of inward nourishment offers each of its patrons tranquility that breeds creative thought and helps it flourish.

Sangita Devi Kathiwada (image courtesy: Isprava)

Comprising primarily of Mumbai’s elite pioneers of art, fashion, design, literature, food, culture and wellness, what sets Circle 1434 apart is the community’s overriding ethic of niche collaboration. “Should one be visiting Mumbai and lodging at say, the Four Seasons, they are far from being certain of bumping into a like-minded individual at breakfast. On the other hand, a guest at the Kathiwada City House is highly likely to come across acquaintances who offer a lifetime of friendship and collaborative potential. Moreover, there are brilliant minds out there whose creative energies are hindered by the mundanities of corporate life. I curated this space with the particular idea of offering these creative souls a peaceful sanctuary where they are able to hear themselves think and for their work to truly thrive," says Sangita Kathiwada in an exclusive conversation with Rajputana Collective.

It was over three decades ago when she established Melange, a boutique outlet at Mumbai’s Altamount Road that forever changed the way we interacted with fashion. Then in 2015, Kathiwada and her bright-eyed son, Digvijay presented their iconically revisited ancestral dwelling by the Vindhyas to the world of hospitality. What served their forefathers as a hunting lodge in yesteryears underwent a painstaking restoration for eight long years under INTACH before metamorphosing into Kathiwada Raaj Mahal, a truly unique retreat in the thickets of Madhya Pradesh. Symbiotically working in tandem with its reinstated panache is the Kathiwada Foundation, the family’s philanthropic arm that reaches out to the region’s tribal communities and joins them in multiple causes of social development. In the same year, Digvijay and wife Swati also launched Sportqvest, a zero-waste manufacturer of activewear and customized sportswear.

The Kathiwada Raaj Mahal

2015 might have been their biggest year thus far, considering it was that February when Digvijay married his better half, Swati. In time, she too joined this tour de force and there has been no looking back for the Kathiwada trio. Their latest revelation comes in the form of Sava Goodness, an initiative that promotes mindful consumption and a sustainable lifestyle. As usual, Sangita Kathiwada leads by example and seizes the post-pandemic webspace to generate awareness via social media influence and online discussions with experts in the fields of zero waste management. Throughout these various initiatives, one can’t help but remain awe-struck by Sangita Kathiwada’s ever-inspiring spirit, and its pure manifestations in Kathiwada’s younger generation. And better still, that this legendary fashionista flies higher on her three-decade-long skyrocketing, and Digvijay and Swati’s duo has only just begun. Another era thus unfurls!

A part of Digvijay and Swati's wedding ceremonies in 2015 (image courtesy: The Wedding Shades)

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